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Resume Remedy 2008-05-02 11:48:51

Entry-Level Résumé, Remedied

TeamSugar user yoruhana posted her "Entry-Levelness Resume" in my Résumé Remedy group — she's a year out of college and looking for something new because the company where she held her first job is undergoing financial troubles. Her current resume implies that she's a highly-desirable candidate — she has a good education and made the most of her time during college with various internships — yet she's having trouble getting an employer to bite at her applications. She'd like some help making her bulletpoints pop, but I'm going to give my two cents from top to bottom — résumés can be fun! Or maybe it's just me, but let's get started!

  1. Remove the objective, forever! That goes for every résumé, in my opinion. Your objective is something that should be made clear in your cover letter. Maybe there are some recruiters out there who would disagree with me, but I find the whole objective minisection to be old-fashioned. It's something that just fills space and doesn't give an employer any key information about an applicant.
  2. Skills shouldn't appear at the top. Move the skills section to the bottom. Your experience is what matters and makes you unique, while your skills are technical qualifications that generally don't make you stand out. If you choose to include Microsoft Office in your skills, which I don't think is particularly necessary in your case, I recommend stating it last.

Find out how else I would remedy this résumé when you


  1. Pay attention to tense: One of the most common problems on résumés is mixing the past and present tense. These subtle mistakes can be found throughout, but I'll use her most recent experience as an example.
    Freelance Web Designer

    • Develop a new design for company website that integrated the company’s new look and objective.
    • Integrated Flash and Javascript to enhance the user’s experience by providing a clickable, rotating banner on the homepage and Lightbox image preview.
    • Design several different layouts for company to showcase different concepts, which enabled owners to pick and chose their favorite layout and elements to add to the layout.

    The first bullet point is fine, but the third incorporates two tenses — "design" is present, while "enabled" is past tense. If the second bullet point is intentionally past tense, as it was a one-time accomplishment, it should be listed last to keep things consistent. She uses a variety of action words, which is great, but if it's a past experience the verbs need to convey that's the case, so in a job from 2005 she didn't "interact and fulfill the needs of various exhibitors," she interacted with them.

  2. The résumé is, in general, much too long for an entry-level applicant. There are seven positions listed, which date back to 2000. Just because experiences aren't introduced on your résumé doesn't mean you can't bring them up in your interview. But in order to get to the interview stage, you need the person reading your résumé to stay focused and consider your experience relevant. In this case, I would remove at least the last two positions, especially the one that lasted for two months.

Good luck with your job search, yoruhana, and keep us posted! Please keep in mind that these are just suggestions and I'm not a professional résumé coach.

hemagswami hemagswami 9 years
Hi, I've been searching for administrative jobs around Harrisburg, PA. I am tired of attending interviews. I have 3 1/2 years of experience from India and no experience in US. I recently graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College and also have business degree from India. The career services at HACC says my resume is stunning. I realize the fact a good resume leads to a lot of interviews. But lot of people go by the previous experience in U.S. I am not successful to win a job even though I have great references, skills, & qualifications. It is definitely frustrating without a job even after your resume has been repaired enough!!!
julie32982 julie32982 9 years
I have to disagree with the no objective statement. I just finished my MBA, so I'm not really an entry level candidate, but I too used to think I didn't need an objective. That is until, my business school hosted a resume "speed dating" event and invited HR directors of large firms (GE for example) as well as head-hunters from executive search groups. All unanimously agreed that you DO need an objective statement.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
"Remove the objective, forever! That goes for every résumé, in my opinion. Your objective is something that should be made clear in your cover letter." I love it - but can you help me out with the cover letter? I have never done one and have no clue where to start? Thanks!
Kelly-O Kelly-O 9 years
Sometimes you DO need an objective statement (or something similar) on your resume, particularly if you're making a shift in your career. Take the time to go read HR resources, talk with people who work in staffing, and remember that your resume needs to represent you, and you are unique. The most important things for a resume? Don't just rely on spell-check, but proofread your work to make sure that words are spelled correctly and used in the proper context. Be honest and represent yourself accurately, because the second someone does a background check and finds a discrepancy you are on the defensive. Know what's on your resume and be prepared to speak about anything you've listed; nothing is more off-putting than asking a question about someone's resume and seeing a blank look cross the applicant's face.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips!
lemonfizz lemonfizz 9 years
I agree with Neekoh about tailoring the resume to the job. I have two Word files, one that has every job I've ever had chronologically and one that has jobs by job family. I just copy and paste and make a new resume every time I apply for a new job. It's really fast, I promise.
emalove emalove 9 years
These are great tips and I agree with all of them...especially removing the objective section that many people still include on their resumes. I had a couple of former college professors help me with my resume when I was job hunting and these are all things that I learned from them.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
The objective is only necessary on the resume if you are not including a cover letter. (I've seen some jobs only ask for a resume.) If you do not have a cover letter, you must include the objective!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Your first entry as Freelance Web Designer for DG lights all say the same thing and none of them really show what you did. You already tell them that you know flash and adobe and html. But what did you really do for the client??! I would phrase it more like: --Arranged meetings with client to discuss implementation of company's updated look and new products into a website --Designed and presented mockups to client. ((how you worded this in your resume sounds very unprofessional)) --Integrated flash, javascript and lightbox into a new website design to reflect the company's modern look //this is all coming from an employed web designer :) You have to remember that when people are reading your resume they want to know what you can do for them. When you redesigned this site for DG Lights, did their revenue increase at all? Can you say that there was 10% increase after the website compared to before? Find out because that stuff looks very good on a resume!!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
This is great advice. Now I want someone to look at mine. I use to have the objective off my resume then I was told to add it on again by a recruiter.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
That's good to know about the objective section. I have never put one in my mine, but I always felt that it seems so contrived to try to put one sentence summarizing it (AND having space for my experiences).
Neekoh Neekoh 9 years
One of the most common pieces of advice I get is to tailor my resume to the job posting. This can be tedious when you are on an active job search, but it can be worth it. My advice is, if you are looking for jobs in 3 general fields, create 3 versions of your resume, each one highlighting specific skills/job experiences that would make you the best candidate for the position at hand. Other than that, good luck. It is tough out there... I know from experience! But don't give up :)
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